Should I use Polypropylene or Polyethylene plastic corrugated for my container?
Polypropylene or Polyethylene are the two different types of resin used when producing plastic corrugated. The most common throughout the plastic corrugated industry is polypropylene when producing products or sheets in profile (I-Beam) structure material. The I-Beam plastic profile corrugated material can also be produced in polyethylene when required. This type of sheet is available from 2mm up to 25mm in thickness. When producing containers or sheets in plastic corrugated laminated (Wave-Beam) structure it will always be made from polyethylene. Laminated (Wave-Beam) is only available in 4mm thickness but can be manufactured at different board weights.
Polypropylene vs Polyethylene Plastic Corrugated
Depending on the project and design of your product. There may be a reason to use one type of sheet over the other. Just as well there may be a reason to use polyethylene or polypropylene resin over the other because of the application or environment.
If we are considering the resins individually one of the key reasons. We would suggest polyethylene is that it is less effected by extreme cold applications. When your container may be exposed to temperatures that reach 50 degrees F or lower polypropylene will begin to have a tendency or at least more likely to fracture or crack when it takes an impact or when flexed or folded in this cold environment. The lower the temperature below 50 degrees the more likely to have these types of issues occurring.
Polyethylene is also softer, so it may be selected or rejected for the project because of this factor. The warmer the environment the softer polyethylene will become.
Polypropylene is stiffer than polyethylene and is also easier to print. It will soften in higher temperatures but not at the same ratio as polyethylene. Polypropylene will also offer better protection from puncture of the sheet.
One simple way to know if your product is made from polyethylene or polypropylene plastic corrugated is to fold the sheet. If it is any color other than white you will see the fold line turn white where it is stretched around the crease or fold. This will not occur when folding polyethylene plastic corrugated. The other comparison when side by side polyethylene plastic corrugated sheet has a “glossier” appearance than polypropylene plastic corrugated sheet.
Both materials have their benefits and some deficits. So each project needs to be evaluated for the application and environmental conditions.